I am pretty sure you all have heard of the idiom “march to the beat of your own drum” a social life metaphor for being independent or individualized. But, how has this catechism distorted our personal views on the association of community in which has always been a collaborative effort? What has happened over the last 2-3 generations that has blinded us to our true nature of oneness? How will we ever recover from this blinding force that has overshadowed our need for one another? As the next Social and Civic Entrepreneurs it will be your willingness to help bridge this gap and to optimize your collaborative efforts in this new wave of convergence.
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” — Henry David Thoreau
Nobel Prize winning economist A. Michael Spence in his book The Next Convergence: The future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); points out that we are in the midst of a reality that will soon give rise to new global players. Spence explains this convergence primarily from the elevated but limited perspective of nations: macroeconomic policy, institutions, technology, culture, geography, and political systems (Here Come the New Competitors: John Jullens). What this means is that the internet is changing the global landscape. You can no longer isolate yourself from the rest of the world because these Digital Techies are like fish out of the water “Gasping for the air of opportunity” that you have taken for granted.
You must gain an understanding of your complex collaborative environment and find out how to leverage it for increased productivity and profitability. If you haven’t noticed you are living in a time that has never been presented to the world before. There is no amount of predictions or data that can foresee what is to come in your world. You must invest your time, talent, and assets into what’s most important to you at this moment. You have to exchange your mental burnout for a proper balance and align your skills with appropriate actions to achieve maximum success. You have what it takes to succeed and if you can’t see that then you need to gain a vivid understanding of self and the possibilities that lie right in front of you.
So, what is a Civic Entrepreneur and what does it mean to optimize collaboration? Civic Entrepreneurs are individuals that can come all walks of life from business government, education, or other community sectors. Civic entrepreneurs understand the new economic realities and are compelled to act on an optimistic vision of how their community can be successful in the next century world. They believe the new economy—global, complex, and fast-changing—can provide unprecedented opportunity for people, places, and organizations. They are go getter and strong willed personalities that know they can make a difference despite their circumstances or setbacks.
Civic entrepreneurs take their regional economy—its opportunities and needs—as a starting point and help communities make positive choices about their future, building the relationships and specialized resources for success. Civic entrepreneurs share some traits of the classic business entrepreneur. Civic Entrepreneurs motivate themselves and other to look at their community differently (Grassroots Leaders: How Civic Entrepreneurs Are Building Prosperous communities (Henton, Melville, and Walesh). Below, I have listed 9 ways that will give a general but not complete sequence of actions that show how Civil Entrepreneurs are Optimizing Collaboration.
Civic Entrepreneurs Optimize Collaboration by…
- Building resilient economic communities in Turbulent times
- Looking for new ways to transform their communities
- Understanding a need for social change
- Using Bottom –up grassroots success methods
- Revitalizing urban areas
- Reforming education systems
- Understanding that community development is a process
- Adhering to the New forces that are constantly transforming communities
- Staying in the game but adjusting their plan
Your mission as the next generation “Civic Entrepreneurs” is to ignite the spirit of social enterprise in order to restore the balance that has so evaded our communities. You are the Civic Entrepreneurs who help communities collaborate to develop and organize their intellectual capital and to build productive, resilient relationships across the private, public, and civil sectors. You will be the ones that forge the ties that bind economy and community for our mutual benefit. Do you think you have what it takes to usher in this movement and produce change? I believe with my heart of hearts that you are the next great “Social Game Changers”. Your talent and hidden potential is about to surface and make “Facebook” look like child’s play. No disrespect to Mr. Zuckerburg because he is very innovative in his own right but, what you possess has never entered into the heart of man. “But it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Check out these nine common traits of “Civic Entrepreneurs” to see if you have what it takes to lead your community into this new paradigm of global success.
9 Common traits of “Civic Entrepreneurs”
- They see opportunity in the new economy
- The possess and entrepreneurial personality
- They provide collaborative leadership to connect the economy and the community
- They are motivated by broad, enlightened, long-term interests
- They work in teams, playing complementary roles
- Know how to work with people
- They are constantly honing their Collaborative Leadership skills
- They preach about Interdependence
- They are Motivators and Social Networkers
As you really consider and ponder the words of this article, keep in mind that you are at the “Half Time” mark on your journey. “Half Time” is a parable that means you are to take inventory of how far you have come, assess your belief systems, and find your center and stay there. The times are definitely chaotic and cumbersome but a shared vision of progressive action that fosters community development will help do just the trick. So, put these truths to use and share them with everyone that you know and start preparing for this third leg of our journey. Because, once the fourth quarter come we will raise up (4 fingers) like we used to do in High-School football indicating that it’s win or go home.
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” — Psalms 19:14